Coming Attraction: Hidden River Expedition

Lewis & Clark. Ferdinand Magellan. Lord Whimsy. Only the last man in that list can be called a true "re-explorer." From August 4-6, the author and artist Allen Crawford (who sometimes operates under the name Lord Whimsy) will embark on a 40-mile kayak trip from Mt. Holly, NJ, to Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia. Dubbed the Hidden River Expedition ("Schuylkill" is Dutch for "hidden river"), Crawford will be documenting his adventure via text, photos and video at We'll be tuning in and furiously hotlinking during those three days, as this expedition is a true testament to the recovery of Philadelphia-area waterways and the importance of healthy rivers and streams. Crawford plans to pay particular attention to the rivers' recovering wildlife population (beavers, sturgeon and oysters) among other attractions in and along the water.

For more info, here is the press release and itinerary. After the jump, a photo of Crawford's Steve Zissou-esque Hidden River Expedition patch.

Reminder: Schuylkill Soundings Presents Green City, Clean Waters—Tonight!

Don't miss tonight's Schuylkill Soundings event at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The 30-miniute Green City, Clean Waters video will be screened, followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Learn how to green your home and neighborhood and give us your project ideas!

See earlier post for more information.

You're Invited: Green Home, Clean Waters

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PWD's Green City, Clean Waters plan isn't just about the city installing porous paving and constructing stormwater tree trenches—you can get involved with the effort by undertaking projects on your own property. Join us at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center on Wednesday, July 20 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for a screening of the 30-minute Green City, Clean Waters video and a panel discussion on how you can green your home. Representatives from PWD and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will be on hand to discuss stormwater management tools for residents and hear your ideas for projects you'd like to see in your community. There will be cocktails, the opportunity to post ideas on a graffiti wall, and an artist station where an artist will materialize your ideas through sketches.

The event is free to attend but please RSVP to or 215-685-0723

Can't make the event? Be sure to check out our Residents page for green home project ideas, tips and how-tos.

Green Roof For Queen Bees

Photo: Sharron Cohen

This Saturday, July 16, some Queen Village bees are getting their own green roof. Join the gardeners and neighbors of the Southwark Queen Village Community Garden from 10 a.m. to noon as they construct a green roof on the Honey House, the small building where the community garden stores beekeeping supplies for three honey-producing hives. The workshop-style event allows participants to help construct the green roof and should serve as a great introduction on how even small structures can accommodate living roofs that absorb water and benefit the environment.

The Southwark Queen Village Community Garden is located at 311 Christian St. A $20 fee for participants goes toward funding for beekeeping supplies. Call 215-320-2980 to reserve a spot—space is limited. Check out the bee blog for info on native bees and view more of Sharron Cohen's Queen Village bee photos. GreenTreks will also be filming the workshop and has some additional information.

Take A Hike

Philadelphia's rivers and streams provide ample opportunity for recreation; events in the coming week suggest it's hiking season in the parks and refuges near the water:

At the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, there's a Summer Bird Walk on Saturday, July 9 and a Birding By Ear Walk on Sunday, July 10. Check here for the full summer schedule of events.

The Friends of the Wissahickon are sponsoring a three-mile hike on Wednesday, July 13. The hike is guided by a trail ambassador and begins at the Valley Green Inn: "Experience caves, trek the famous Fingerspan Bridge, cross Devil's Pool, discover The Spring House, Shakespeare's Rock, learn about major improvements to the trails, the history of the Livezey Mill, and other areas of the park and hopefully, spot some local wildlife." Click here to register for free.

The Lower Merion Conservancy has hula hoops and butterflies on Sunday, July 10 and a free Summer Evening Hike on Wednesday, July 13 in Gladwyne: "Hike from the lush creekside trail in Turtle Hollow, past the Henry Foundation, to Riverbend and back through the Philadelphia Country Club. A lovely way to complete the exploration of bridlepaths that connect Rolling Hill Park to Riverbend."

Delaware Sailboat Tour Update

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Photo: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Update/correction to the earlier post about the scheduled sailboat tour of the Delaware River: The July 9 tour is full, but a second tour has been added for July 16 and space is still available as of this posting. A $10 donation is recommended to benefit the Friends of Washington Avenue Green, a neighborhood group that tends to the eco-park. Again, email for more info.

Moreover, this update is just an excuse to post a photo of the floating wetlands built last summer as part of the Washington Avenue Green project; the wetlands are buoyed by cells of plastic bottles that were found as waste and reused.

Mast Transit: Free Sailboat Tour of the Delaware

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Photo: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

This Saturday, July 9, board the sailboat Northwind for a free two-hour (9:00-11:00 a.m.) tour of the Delaware River. Learn about the river's history and ecology; the tour will also focus on Washington Avenue Green, the recently constructed public park along the Delaware. The photo above depicts a rain garden in the park that collects stormwater runoff from the nearby parking lot. Other ecologically friendly features of Washington Avenue Green include floating wetlands that provide habitat for aquatic life and depaved portions of the parking lot that allow stormwater to infiltrate the soil below.

RSVP by tomorrow, July 6 by sending an email to Again, the tour is free but space is limited; all sailors must be at least 16 years old. Visit the event's Facebook page.

You're Invited: Stormwater House

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Thinking about making your home greener but don't know where to start? Wondering about the incentives and barriers to environmentally friendly improvements such as green roofs and downspout planters (pictured above)? Join the panel discussion tonight at 5:30 at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Auditorium at 20th and Arch. The event is free and open to the public; however, registration is requested. Panel guests include PWD's Glen Abrams, Michele C. Adams (Meliora Environmental Design), Shanta Schachter (New Kensington CDC) and Nancy O'Donnell (Philadelphia Green).

If you can't make it to the event and are considering a retrofit to make your home greener, check out our the Residents section of our site, which features 10 project ideas, how-tos and design guides.

Root For The Home Stream

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"Root for the home estuary" doesn't have quite the same ring to it—but if you attend the June 25 Camden Riversharks game against the Pennsylvania Road Warriors (5:35 p.m. start), you can support the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. Purchase tickets for the game online and use the word "Estuary" as the group password, and $5 from each ticket will benefit the PDE. The total price of a ticket is $11.

Read our recent post about some of the projects the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is proposing.

A Roof With A View

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And also some views of the roof: Here are some photos from Wednesday's unveiling of the green roof bus shelter at 15th and Market.

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